Challenge 4: bloom

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Our solution to Challenge 4 is bloom, a platform designed for mothers looking to jumpstart their career in the tech field. It is intended to provide concrete skills both through targeted lessons and real-world applications that can help a novice build a skill set and code portfolio that makes them marketable for careers. We chose programming as our skill to develop since tech is a booming industry that offers the option of working from home, which would be desirable for moms with families. 

The way bloom works is by taking the skills you learn in our lessons and instantly applying them to a host of jobs. These jobs are coding challenges that real companies post to bloom and that are sorted by our platform into manageable levels. As the user goes through the bloom program, the jobs she sees will be more difficult while remaining relevant to her most recent lessons. These jobs benefit both the user, who gets to instantly apply her newfound skills to a tangible and practical real-world problem, and to the companies posting these jobs, since they can essentially crowd-source solutions to some of their more basic problems and thereby free up their company’s software teams to explore more in-depth challenges. The jobs on bloom therefore provide a mutual benefit to user and posting company. 

The user incentive for continuing to use bloom is twofold. The first incentive is our rewards program that increases payout with each additional level. The rewards include discounted rates at the companies that may be posting jobs, like Amazon, and would ideally also be companies of interest to our target demographic of mothers. In this way, the user is being compensated for solving problems for companies. The discounted rates were the selected means of incentivization instead of direct money, since we figured for our mother demographic they are not the primary source of income and therefore may not feel the pressing need to make direct income. Providing discounts feels like a more encouraging solution for our users. 

The second incentive for using bloom is that by using the platform, the user is building her skill set and also adding to her coding experience and portfolio by having concrete jobs she has completed. This allows the user to market herself better for any career offers she is seeking since she has already experienced real-world programming. This gives our users a step up on any other competition that may be seeking similar careers. 

We also wanted to use the user’s family to incentivize bloom use, since time spent with bloom is time spent away from the family. We do this by including a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) category of jobs with applications directly towards the user’s family. These DIY tasks work similar to posted company jobs, but the benefit goes towards the family. One example of these DIY tasks includes programming a mobile game for the mother’s children, such that the kid can both be involved in the design process of what they want and can also serve as extra motivation for the mother to use bloom. Once completed, the child and mother can they play the game together and work to improve it even more. This brings a fun and interactive aspect to bloom for the entire family and increases the desire for continued use of the platform. 

Overall we believe bloom offers a unique solution to helping stay-at-home moms re-enter the workforce. By utilizing real-world jobs to build the user’s skill set and portfolio, bloom allows mom’s to gain a competitive edge all while benefiting their families through discounts and DIY challenges. 

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